The Queen of Soul

America lost a queen, the “Queen of Soul”, Aretha Franklin.  I remember the first time I heard one of her songs.  I asked my father who she was.  He said you are listening to America’s Queen, “The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin”.  I remember my father turning up the radio in his old “Square Back” Volkswagen, then singing along and clapping to her song “Respect”.  I also remember my mother looking at him like he was possessed and trying to lower the radio.  My father would brush her hand away and would say “No one lowers the Queen”.

The Queen of Soul You Me NYC
I absolutely fell in love with her music the first time I heard it.  The power and strength of her voice gave me chills up and down my spine.  Her music inspired me then and still inspires me today.   Outside of the music she is just as inspirational to me as well, especially with her involvement in the civil rights movement and her philanthropic generosity.

Image via Atlantic RecordsThe Queen of Soul You Me NYC

Aretha was born to preacher and civil rights activist Clarence L. Franklin(CL Franklin).  Activism surrounded Franklin in her youth, which she quickly became actively engaged in.  According to a Detroit Free Press interview with Reverend Jesse Jackson, she often used her talents to help further the civil rights movement.  Franklin toured with Doctor King and fellow singer/activist Harry Belafonte.  According to Reverend Jackson, Aretha helped make payroll several times when Dr. King was alive.  That is just one of the many contributions Aretha provided to the “Civil Rights Movement” that changed America for the better.

Let’s not forget that Aretha was the first lady to be nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  She was also the recipient of 18 grammy awards, the singer at President Obama’s first presidential inauguration in 2009 and so much more.  With all her accomplishments, she is truly a queen among queens.

Image via Getty/Kevin WinterThe Queen of Soul You Me NYC

Thank You Kate Spade

Katherine Noel Brosnahan, known professionally as Kate Spade and Kate Valentine.  American born, Kate was a mother, fashion designer, and successful entrepreneur.  June 5th, 2018, we lost a brilliant force in the fashion/accessory world and what a tremendous loss it is.

There is no need to discuss as to how or why this happened.  Instead, Kate should be remembered for her contribution to the realm of fabulous.  Spade started out with Mademoiselle magazine in the accessories department in 1986.  She later left the magazine in 1991 with the title of “Senior Fashion Editor/Head of Accessories”.

While working at the magazine she realized that the market was lacking stylish yet sensible handbags.  After the discovery, she decided to create her own line of chic practical handbags.  Spade developed 6 prototypes out of “Scotch” tape and paper.  Shopping her designs around, she found a manufacturer in East New York who was willing to produce her designs and more importantly, work with a startup.
Thank You Kate Spade You Me NYC

To finance the company Andy Spade withdrew from his 401(k) plan and also paid employees of the company with his own personal checks as well.  Kate was undecided about the name of the line.  Since she and Andy were not married at the time, “Kate Brosnahan” sounded like an unmarketable name to her.  Andy suggested “Kate Spade” which was a combination of his surname and her first name which they both agreed on.

As we all know “Kate Spade New York City” launched into a massive handbag line which extended to clothing, jewelry, shoes, stationery, eye-wear, baby items, fragrances, tabletop, bedding, an d gifts.  Later, Kate and her husband sold the line so she can concentrate on raising her daughter.

Although Spade and her husband are not affiliated with the brand for more than 10 years, the beloved brand lives on.   There are numerous “Kate Spade New York City” stores all over the country and the world with her first store opening up right in Soho New York City where her empire began and her legacy created.

Conclusion:

We will miss you Kate…..

Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain, host of the popular CNN series “Parts Unknown” left the world with a final and permanent sign-off June 8th 2018.  I absolutely loved his show and the fact that he brought us all a little closer to each other just by sharing a meal. Anthony really showed us how much we all have in common through all the culture, diversity and cuisines he brought to us no matter where his location.

Bourdain was larger-than-life, an amazing chef and a fantastic storyteller.  The news of his death shocked the world and according to CNN, the most common sentiment was “I feel like I’ve lost a friend”.  I personally felt connected to Anthony, through his extraordinary way with words, his gutsy on-scene locations, and his edgy character.
Bourdain You Me NYC

His article in “The New Yorker” back in 1999 spoke volumes and I can definitely relate to it.  The article titled “Don’t Eat Before Reading This” was about the secrets of working in a restaurant’s kitchen.  “In America, the professional kitchen is the last refuge of the misfit.  It’s a place for people with bad pasts to find a new family”, Bourdain wrote.  Don’t get me wrong I don’t have a bad past.  I worked in a few restaurants, starting in the kitchen as a dishwasher and moved through the stations.  I can definitely say that I have come across some shady characters.

Now I love food and the relationships it brings to the table.  Anthony’s work is incredible and plays a huge influence on my writing as well.  I am sure that I can speak for all of my readers and pretty much everyone else. Anthony is sharing a meal in some part unknown to all of us and telling some amazing story.

Conclusion:

We will miss you Anthony, your work will not be forgotten.